Yes- it did snow again... 3 inches more...
We usually don't have snow in October. This is the third time in 60 years that it has snowed on October in MN!
It is pretty BUT much too early!
Once again we were not ready!
This is a question for all of you out their in Bloggyland!
As we were in process to bring Sarah home I did some research on the computer as to what to do about the "language issue". Sarah would come to us speaking a dialect of her hometown and some Mandarin that she had learned at school. As it turned out her spoken Mandarin was pretty good.
It was wonderful to hear her chatter away in Chinese! Our guide told us she spoke it quite well. She could converse with anyone we met. Sarah would sing Chinese children's songs to us and try to teach us to count. We would all end up giggling throughout the process! She had a stubbornness about her and she let us know through the translator that she had no intention of ever learning English and that if we intended to speak to her we would need to learn Chinese! Our guide was quite surprised at this response from our Sarah! She translated it and then laughed nervously!
When a family adopts in infant, toddler or preschooler they know their child will fully learn how to speak English. Their will not be an accent or incomplete sentences. Their child's language will be fully integrated.
When adopting a preteen I would assume that child would most likely keep much of their native language. It is the language they have been surrounded with for approximately 12-13 yrs of their life. The can speak, read and write it. A few families that I have known have gone to great lengths for their children to have the opportunity to keep it. If you have adopted in this age group what are you planning to do with the "language issue"? There is not a right answer- it is okay to let it go or keep it.
Anna falls into the toddler category but our other girls do not. They are in the in between age- the 7-10 yr olds. Before Sarah came home I did research this issue and please feel free to correct me. The only place I found a definitive answer was from the BG foundation in New York. The research I believe was done on Russian adoptees. It said that in order to fully integrate into life in America and the English language a child would need to lose their native language and then fully learn the English language. Before Sarah came home I had time to read up on this, now I do not and I am questioning what I have read.
Our plan for Sarah because of what I read was to have her be immersed in the English language at the expense of her Chinese. We figured she was young enough to go this route and in the long run it would be better for her. Everything was going along as planned. She was making nice progress with her english and she was forgetting her Chinese. The first 4 months she found it very upsetting if anyone spoke to her in Chinese. For the first 7 months she wanted nothing to do with the language and claimed she had completely forgotten it. If asked to say anything in Chinese she would refuse but she would also giggle when others attempted.
Second thoughts- that is what I am having now. How do I really know that is correct. Did I read it wrong? How often is there research that is later found to be inaccurate. Usually my gut is the best indicator and it is not so sure that a blanket statement such as "to fully gain one language you must lose the other" is correct in our situation. There are so many bilingual people out there that can speak two languages beautifully why shouldn't we give it a try?
Hubby and I have few things that are important for us regarding the language issue.
1. We want our daughters to speak English without an accent.
2. We want them to be able to speak in full sentences and not in broken English.
3. We want to be able to have in depth conversations with our daughter and not always keep the conversation so superficial. Therefor they need to have a strong vocabulary base.
4. We want them to be able to read good books in English.
About 2 months ago Sarah started showing a rekindled interest in the Chinese language. She started recalling words. She wanted to share what she could remember with us. She wanted to watch TV shows like Ni Hao Ki lan and mei mei videos. When ever she over heard others speaking Chinese she would tell us that "they are speaking Chinese". Then, if there were a few words she understood she would translate them for us. Sarah loves everything Chinese. Even though I know she is very very happy right here with us her eyes light up when she hears the language, the music, or sees the calligraphy, the food- anything Chinese!
We had Sarah all signed up for Chinese language and culture school on Saturday mornings BUT backed out. Why?? two reasons-as a family we didn't what to book up every Saturday morning September through May. We also were fearful of stopping her progress in English. Hmmm - the second reason isn't quite working for me now.
I am wondering what are your thoughts on this issue? What will you do with your child/ children? Or what did you do? Would you do it differently now? Does anyone regret not keeping their child's native language? Has anyone been successful in keeping their child's native language?
This is what think we are going to do. We are once again working on Rosetta Stone- and we will continue it for the English, along with all the other things we are doing at our homeschool. We will look into Chinese language classes and probably get something going. It maybe in our home or out at a class- we have to figure out how much of a commitment we can do. I am just feeling a pull towards doing that. We have prayed about it and I am thinking we are being led in that direction.
I look forward to reading your thoughts on his issue!